So here it is.

The moment I have been waiting for since Ewan Mcgregor’s youthful face walked away from the action of Danny Boyle’s 1996 Trainspotting, looking directly at the camera and promising (or warning) that he was going to “choose life”.


It’s the trailer to the sequel, with its suitably fitting textspeak, HS2 invoking, upgraded name, T2: Trainspotting (2017).

“Hey Mark. So what you been up to… for 20 years?”

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Good question.

The trailer is clearly intended to catch fans of the original film. Underworld’s “Born Slippy”, now synonymous with the film and the wave of techno films upon which Boyle’s 1996 hit rode on the crest of, is reintroduced in the trailer and it is quickly evident that the film will be attempting to match the intense movement of the original, as the camera jumps between energetic, violent shots – through snapshots of scenes in which a cool, unnaturally blue light is shown throughout.

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Another familiarity greets us almost immediately, Irvine Welsh’s famous “Choose life” monologue, updated for the modern day:

“Choose life. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and hope that someone, somewhere cares.”

Very nice. Very relevant. Look at us, we’re 2016.

But do you think Renton, Sick Boy and Spud fit into those curated Instagram feeds of avo-toast and sweet potato fries? It all feels a bit inauthentic. The trailer, dripping with nostalgia for the grime of the 1990s, falls flat in its desperation to claw some relevance and a link to bridge the last 20 years.

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However, I’ll try to suspend my judgement. This could be the very beauty of the new film. Perhaps, the discomfort I felt from this will suitably fit the striking discord between this band of 45-year-old ex-Junkies and the Valencia-filtered generation of Instagram millennials in our new world. Maybe?

Schipper’s 2015 masterpiece, Victoria, has proved that the Techno film can remain relevant for the climate of today – we’ll just have to wait until January to see if Boyle has managed it, too.

Imogen Reid
Friday 4 November 2016